I love the earthy smell and flavor of beets, but my absolute favorite way to enjoy beets is pickled into sweet sublimeness. Oddly enough, it seems I thinned out most of my traditional beets early this summer after planting way too many beets. So, that left me with some striped beets, golden beets and some oddly albino beets. Here's the traditional pickling recipe, straight from the Ball Blue Book of Preserving.
3 quarts beets
2 cups sugar
2 sticks cinnamon (Note: I was able to use cinnamon my brother bought back from India to make these extra special.)
1 Tbsp. whole allspice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
Wash and drain beets. Cook beets, and submerge in cold water to peel. Combine all ingredients except beets in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Remove cinnamon.
Pack beets into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Ladle hot liquid over beets, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 30 minutes in a hot water bath.